Who doesn’t love a good helping of baked beans? The dish has been so popular over the years that canned beans, usually with pork, were among the first convenience foods sold in the United States and United Kingdom. Originally imported from American companies, they were first sold in the UK in 1886 as an expensive foreign delicacy.
The beans used to make baked beans, usually navy beans, are native to North America and weren’t introduced to Europe until they were brought to Italy in 1528 and France by 1547. Nowadays, baked beans are usually stewed, not baked, but the traditional recipe calls for them to be slow baked in a ceramic or cast-iron beanpot.
Boston baked beans use a sauce prepared with molasses and salt pork. They were so popular that the city came to be known as “Beantown.” In other locales, the dish is prepared with brown sugar, sugar, or corn syrup instead, and states bordering Canada’s Eastern provinces (as well as the Canadian province of Québec) sweeten the beans with maple syrup.
As you move further south, you’ll find folks adding yellow mustard to baked beans, giving them a tangier taste. If you happen to buy a can of Bush’s baked beans, you’ll usually find yellow mustard in the ingredients.
Baked beans are so easy to handle they’ve been a staple for different types of barbecue. You can serve baked beans hot or cold, so they’re really handy for those outdoor picnics and other parties you might have going on. Let’s dive into my favorite recipe. Southern BBQ Bacon Baked beans, which I think will be your favorite too!
- 1lb Chopped Bacon
- 2 Cloves Minced Garlic
- 1 Diced Sweet Onion
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
- 1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/3 Cup Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce
- Red Wine
- 8 Oz Tomato Puree
- 16Oz Navy Beans
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Chop the bacon into tiny squares. In a sauce pan, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain the bacon. Put a few tablespoons of olive oil in the sauce pan and place the drained bacon back into the pan.
- Add the Onion, Garlic and Sriracha to the pan and stir in well. Fry off until the onions begin to turn translucent. Then, add the brown sugar and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the Cider Vinegar and reduce.
- Add the Worcestershire Sauce and BBQ Sauce and stir in well. Cook for a few minutes, then add the tomato puree and a splash of red wine. Bring to a boil and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add the drained and washed beans and stir in well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for another 5-8 minutes or until beans are soft— stirring often.
- Serve alone or as a side dish with virtually any meat or chicken.